Later this week, we’re taking our first multi-day trip outside of Vienna, to Innsbruck. Innsbruck is in western Austria, 5 hours from Vienna by train, in the Alps (and probably most famous for twice hosting the Winter Olympics). We’re all very excited about seeing the mountainous part of Austria, and about getting to (hopefully) play in some significant snow.
Traveling with kids can be challenging. We have to plan for just about any eventuality: kids that won’t sleep for 3 consecutive nights, forgetting something vitally imporant and difficult to replace, finding out that something that has never been vitally important now suddenly is, or discovering that our children have grown an inch overnight and now no longer fit in ANY of the clothes we packed for them for the weekend. We have to remember that this (like pretty much everything else) isn’t about us — although we may find a 5 hour train ride a nice opportunity to relax and read, the kids probably won’t have gotten that memo. And we can forget about even trying to “pack light” (I’m hoping we can shove all of the clothes, diapers, toys, books, toiletries, accoutrements and more clothes into two suitcases and a backpack . . . and we’re only going for 4 days). Basically, we have to keep our expectations simple and realistic, and we have to be as flexible as possible, because 1 year olds and 3 year olds aren’t particularly known for their understanding or flexiblity (if we get there and there isn’t any snow, Benjamin may decide to just walk back to Vienna).
One of the things I’m really looking forward to is the train ride. It’s 5 hours (which is a long time for the kids to sit relatively still and be relatively quiet) but we’re going to get to see a significant part of Austria from east to west, and we’ll start off in the relative low-lying east and end up in the Alps. Pretty cool. I’ve been telling Benjamin about it — he loves the train, he loves to look out the window and watch the scenery, so I’m hoping he’ll really enjoy the journey, too (he’s already called the window seat). I was trying to explain to him about the mountains we’re going to, and I told him that they were the biggest mountains I’d ever seen in my life, and he said, “You know, Mommy, we’re going to see the first mountains I’ve ever seen in this life!”
(As it turns out, neither of those statements are actually true — I forgot that I’ve seen a higher mountain in Hawaii, and he’s forgetting the mountains we went to back in the summer, but it was a sweet sentiment nonethel
We’re all very excited about our trip. I can’t wait to see more of Austria, and to share this journey as a family. Our goals are simple: get to Innsbruck, see some snow, do some different things than we do every day and see a place that we’ve never seen before, and enjoy ourselves along the way. I think we can do it.